Foundational Principles of Christianity
A true Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ
The word Christian comes from Christ.
A true Christian is an individual who seeks to live his or her life according to the principles and values taught by Jesus Christ.
“By this we know that we are in Him [Jesus]. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6
Paul wrote, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
Jesus also said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
Christians should live out their faith
It’s not enough to have mental assent – agreeing intellectually that God exists and that Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose again for our salvation. Such a belief is a start, but true faith translates into action. Faith without works is dead.
Here’s a discussion on the difference between mental assent and true faith. “We need to live out faith by doing what God asks. We should not only agree with His word and will, but also live it.”
Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 5:21-23
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:14-24
We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:10b-12, quoting Isaiah 45:23
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NIV
God determines right and wrong
Morality and ethics should not be based on the opinions of humans, even majority opinion, but based on God’s definitions of right and wrong.
We will all be judged according to God’s definitions of good and evil, not ours.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil… Isaiah 5:20